Review: The Shiny Guys – moved

The Shiny Guys
The Shiny Guys by Doug MacLeod
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow. Like. Wow.
This book is just so unusual. It is the story of Colin Lapsley. The year is 1985. Colin sees things out the corner of his eyes. Shiny red guys, in leather jackets. As soon as he looks at them, they go, but he knows – they’re always there. Colin is admitted to Ward 44. He shares a room with revolting Len. He has a good friend, Mango. Mango has a compulsion to hug people – and he can’t let go. Colin doesn’t mind. He just waits until Mango calms down. And then there’s Anthea.
Parallels have made between this book and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – but besides them both being set in a psychiatric facility, there aren’t really any similarities to be drawn.
I enjoyed that way that Doug teases out the story, giving the reader little clues and teasers as to how and why Colin is where he is and why he is.
This is a really ‘different’ book. And recommended.

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Review: The Life of a Teenage Body-Snatcher

The Life of a Teenage Body-Snatcher
The Life of a Teenage Body-Snatcher by Doug MacLeod
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Doug Macleod is one of Australia’s premier writers – full stop. From Sister Madge’s Book of Nuns, through The Comedy Company and Kath & Kim, and My Incredible Life and Death, to the beautiful Siggy and Amber, Tumble Turn (swoons) and The Clockwork Forest.
The Life of a Teenage Body-snatcher follows young Thomas Timewell, “sixteen and a gentleman”. We meet Thomas as he is attempting to steal the newly-buried body of his grandfather. An unusual pastime for a young gentleman, you might think. And you would be right. But Thomas is just trying to fulfil Grandfather’s dying wish – for his body to be donated to science. Unfortunately, Thomas mother doesn’t think this is a good idea, and so grandfather goes into the ground. And also unfortunately, body-snatching is against the law, and Thomas risks going to jail for the sake of his grandfather.
Fortunately for Thomas (and Grandfather), he meets a resurrectionist named Plenitude. Plenitude is a man of honour, wisdom and care, and is, as it turns out, the perfect person to have caught Thomas digging noisily into Grandfather’s grave.
The Life of a Teenage Body-snatcher is funny, black, thoughtful and moving. It is definitely one of Doug MacLeod’s best books in a long history of excellent writing.

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